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  • The Japan International

    Cooperation Agency’s

    development proposals for the

    Jordan Valley

    November 2007

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  • The Japanese Government’s Development Proposals for the Jordan Valley

    1

    Contents

    Introduction 2

    Background to development in the Jordan Valley 3

    Geographical, political and economic background 3

    The Israeli agenda for the Jordan Valley 7

    Setting a different agenda: humanitarian aid, developmental assistance

    and politics

    8

    Proposals from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) 11

    Summary of the JICA proposals 11

    The needs assessment and waste projects 12

    The Agro-industrial zone 14

    The Al Mujarat Road 18

    Defining sustainable development 21

    Appendix A: Case studies 23

    Al Hadidiya – Water and agriculture 23

    Mr Imad Sawafta – Running an agricultural business in the north of the

    Jordan Valley

    23

    Appendix B: Colonies in the Jordan Valley 26

    Appendix C: Press Release from Mayors in the Jordan Valley, 13 November

    2007 (Arabic) 27

    Maps

    Map 1: The Jordan Valley 3

    Map 2: The Japanese ‘Peace Corridor’ 12

    Map 3: The Proposed Al Mujarat Road 19

    Map 4: The West Bank ghettos 20

  • The Japanese Government’s Development Proposals for the Jordan Valley

    2

    Introduction

    The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) is planning and implementing a range of

    development projects in the Palestinian Jordan Valley, whose stated aims are to facilitate the

    economic development of the area and to increase Palestinian cooperation with the Israeli state.

    There are fundamental weaknesses in the project, which are discussed in this briefing. The main

    points addressed are:

    • JICA’s failure to consult fully with Palestinians and the further failure to address

    needs that were expressed during the consultation. JICA is not accountable to the

    Palestinian people. This has led to the development of initiatives and proposals which do

    not meet regional needs and in fact run counter to the interests of the local population.

    • JICA’s failure to engage with the political reality in the Jordan Valley. The poor

    economic situation in the area is a direct result of forty years of Israeli occupation. JICA’s

    current initiatives and proposed projects will facilitate the building of economy and

    infrastructure that is inextricably bound up with the presence of the occupation, effectively

    cementing the most serious barrier to long-term development.

    • JICA’s proposal of ‘joint’ projects, which recognise the Israeli presence in the

    Jordan Valley, is a violation of international law and against the wishes of

    Palestinians. The Israelis are being dealt with as ‘partners’, rather than occupiers.

    • JICA’s development proposals must be led by a recognition of Palestinian political

    interests, including advocacy and the support of an ‘economy of steadfastness’

    conducive to long-term Palestinian political and developmental goals.

  • The Japanese Government’s Development Proposals for the Jordan Valley

    3

    Map 1: The Jordan Valley, in white, runs along the eastern edge of the West Bank

    Background to development in the Jordan

    Valley

    Geographical, political and economic background

    The Jordan Valley has always been the backdrop to the urban areas of

    Palestine in the central West Bank. Historically, farmers produced crops

    along the banks of the Jordan River sold across the Arab World. This

    stopped abruptly with the Israeli Occupation from 1967.

    The Jordan Valley area, which makes up 30% of the West Bank’s

    territory, extends from the Dead Sea in the South until Bisan in the

    North, from the Jordan River in the East to the mountains which slope

    down the West Bank.

    Out of the 2400 km2 territory of the Valley, 1200km

    2 are controlled by the

    colonies in the area. Around 44% of the total land mass is usurped by

    Israeli Occupation military zones leaving just 6% of the Valley is

    accessible to Palestinians for agricultural or residential use.

    52,000 Palestinians live permanently in the Valley including those in

    Jericho, with other land-owners residing in towns throughout the West

    Bank. Many Palestinians settle in the Valley on a seasonal basis, moving

    down from the mountains to the West to cultivate their lands. The

    residential areas are concentrated in Jericho, 24 villages and dozens of

    Bedouin communities.

    Land Grab and Colonization since 1967

    Immediately after the occupation of the Jordan Valley in 1967, the Zionist authorities declared the

    whole region a closed military area. Like today, the Jordan Valley was closed off with only Jordan

    Valley “residents” allowed to cross the checkpoints to or from the Valley between 6am-6pm.

    Entire populations of al-Himma, al Qa’un, Ein as-Sultan and the camp of Abu al-Jaj were expelled

    from their lands. Around 650 km2 of land was confiscated and fenced off in the area immediately

    parallel to the River Jordan resulting in the displacement and expulsion of thousands of people in

    the area. Tens of thousands of dunums of Palestinian land east of the fence were closed off.

  • The Japanese Government’s Development Proposals for the Jordan Valley

    4

    Since almost all fertile and irrigated lands are in close range from the river, Palestinian agriculture

    became severely hit. Shepherds whose communities had used the lands for centuries were cut

    off from grazing their cattle. The once flourishing tourism in Wadi al Maleh hot springs came to an

    end as the area was declared a military zone.

    The Apartheid Wall

    The Wall in the area extends from the Jordan River in the East until al-Mattalli village (Jenin

    district) to the West. Here it isolates 4000 dunums of Bardala’s land, without even gates found in

    other stretches of the Wall to maintain the façade of Palestinian access. From 8km west of

    Tamoun, between Tubas and Beit Dajan, a 5km long trench system has been dug to bar

    Palestinians from their farmland in Sahel Libqe’a.

    Checkpoints

    The isolation of the Valley is overseen through 5 major checkpoints - open between 6am and

    9pm – that control the main roads from and to the Jordan Valley. Since 2002, only Palestinians

    with official residency in the Jordan Valley (as displayed on the ID system the Occupation

    imposes) are allowed to cross the checkpoints to the rest of the West Bank. Since the beginning

    of April 2006, only Palestinians with Jordan Valley residency, and over the age of 30 years are

    allowed to cross these checkpoints. This has led to the complete isolation of the Valley’s

    population as they were severed from the urban centers of the West Bank, their markets, their

    institutions and basic social services.

    Housing and Living Conditions

    Since 1967, the Palestinian population was prohibited from building and restructuring their

    buildings. After Oslo, the area for Palestinian residential use was limited by the Israeli Occupation

    to 11km2, some 0.5% of the Jordan Valley. Only Jericho and al Awje were considered area A and

    Bardala, Ein el Beida, Marjnaji, Zubeidat, Fasa’il area B. The restrictions on Palestinian housing

    do not take into consideration the natural population growth of the area. Over the last 40 years

    overcrowding has become a major problem as the population in the enclosed Palestinian areas

    has grown.

    All Palestinian communities outside this restricted space have been subjected to frequent house

    demolitions. In 2005 alone 22 houses were destroyed by the Occupation.

    With the exception of Jericho, no Palestinian telecommunication and landlines are permitted.

    Palestinians, outside area A and B are not allowed to link their villages and housing with services

  • The Japanese Government’s Development Proposals for the Jordan Valley

    5

    or to build houses, hospitals or schools. Some Palestinian villages communities are still left

    without even the most basic services such as water, electricity. Jiftlik, the largest village after

    Jericho and al Awja, is without electricity, while Original Fassayel and Marjnaje are without

    drinking water.

    Water

    Within the military closed area along the Jordan River, 162 agricultural water projects developed

    during Jordanian rule have not been accessible for Palestinians since 1967, depriving thousands

    of people of their livelihoods. The Occupation has gradually implemented, a series water policies

    to create extreme water shortage for the Palestinian population. Since 1967, Palestinians have

    been barred from their share of the Jordan River water (250 million m3 per year), while the

    Occupation systematically exceeds their share to the profit of the colonies. The Occupation has

    monopolized the digging and maintenance of wells for the company Mekarot and prohibited

    Palestinians from digging any further wells or restructuring existing wells. Wells dug by

    Palestinians are frequently bulldozed. Further threatening the ecosystem of the Jordan River and

    the Dead Sea, the Occupation built in 2002, two large water reservoirs (800 000 and 2,800 000

    m2) and hundreds of water tanks (until 3000 m3) to drain water from the springs and seasonal

    rivers that flow into the river and the sea during Winter. The Occupation declared most of the

    areas with strategic water resources along the mountains as military zones. Most water rich

    Palestinian wells are located in these areas and remain unusable with communities unable to

    access them. Palestinians are compelled to buy expensive water from the Occupation and its

    state run company Mekarot.

    Agriculture and Markets

    Palestinian agriculture has been systematically attacked since 1967. Agriculture along the River

    Jordan was completely destroyed and markets to the Arab world cut off. Over the years, the

    Valley’s agriculture sector has been forced to accept the Israeli economy as their main export

    partner, in a way which has fostered dependency and further colonization.

    Subsidized colony products and their easy access to markets further threaten Palestinian

    agriculture, already suffering from an imposed shortage of water and necessary infrastructure.

    Since the beginning of this Intifada, the Occupation has also blocked the usage of the most

    convenient fertilizers and pesticides and blocks seed imports for long periods at checkpoints. This

    limits the kind of cultivation in the area, the space of land that can be cultivated and the profit

    farmers can make.

  • The Japanese Government’s Development Proposals for the Jordan Valley

    6

    The markets in the West Bank - Nablus, Jenin, Ramallah, Jericho, Jerusalem and Hebron – are

    accessed with severe difficulty as checkpoints block all main roads. Markets within the ’48

    territories have been severed over a gradual process. Bardala checkpoint is now completely

    closed.

    The pressure on Palestinian farmers comes from all sides. Palestinian workers (without Jordan

    Valley residency) are not allowed to reach their workplaces within the Jordan Valley anymore.

    The only way to still gain a permit and work within the Jordan Valley is employment in the

    colonies. Land owners are not allowed to reach their lands if their residency is outside the Jordan

    Valley. Markets are closed to Palestinian products while the Occupation offers “joint” ventures

    and “cooperation” deals with the settlers to create dependency and break the autonomy of

    Palestinian farmers.

    Education and Health

    Existing schools in the Jordan Valley are overcrowded and lacking sufficient class rooms, with

    students often travelling for several hours to reach them. In Fasail, the school built by locals over

    the summer has just received an order threatening it with demolition on 29 November. Other than

    in Jericho, the Jordan Valley has a lack of basic health services. No emergency services are

    possible and just 5 villages in the area receive clinic services two days a week for 1 hour.

    Colonies

    In 1968, Mahola, the first colony in the Valley was established on Ein al Beida’s land under the

    pretext of the absentee property law that enables the confiscation of refugee property. Today 26

    colonies are manned by 6200 settlers (see Appendix C). The Occupation offers a discount of

    75% for drinking water, electricity, telecommunication and transportation, as well as free irrigation

    water and free education for every settler in the Jordan Valley. Every settler family is given 70

    dunums of stolen Palestinian land and 20000 NIS as a long-term loan. Although, the Occupation

    offers enormous incentives for the settlers, their number has decreased in recent years.

    However, despite this decrease, the colonization of Palestinian land has continued unabated. The

    Occupation is giving over large parts of the military zone areas to agricultural colonies. Only few

    years ago, the Occupation started to cultivate the land in the bank of the river and a few months

    ago they have linked the area with electricity.

  • The Japanese Government’s Development Proposals for the Jordan Valley

    7

    The Israeli agenda for the Jordan Valley

    JICA’s proposals must be understood in the context of Israeli policy towards the Jordan Valley.

    The Israeli state has occupied the area since 1967, in defiance of United Nations Resolutions and

    international law.

    The 1994 Oslo Accords gave the Israelis control of the Valley, ostensibly as a temporary

    measure. The Israelis have used this opportunity to undertake a mass transfer of Israeli settlers

    into the Valley, greatly adding to the number and population of the Israeli colonies. This has been

    carried out in defiance of the IV Geneva Convention, which expressly forbids the occupying

    power from undertaking such population transfer.

    Israeli policy towards the Jordan Valley has consistent been consistent since 1967: that it should

    be annexed as a ‘second backbone’ for the Israeli state. This approach has been formally

    reiterated by successive Israeli Prime Ministers since 1994.

    Yitzhak Rabin stated in 1995: “We will not return to the June 4, 1967, lines … The security border

    of the State of Israel will be located in the Jordan Valley, in the broadest meaning of that term.”1

    Benyamin Netenyahu stated in 1998 that “the most important thing is securing the eastern border

    with Jordan, and strengthening our control of the Jordan Valley and the ridges which dominate it

    … I have stressed that I do not foresee Jewish colonies being left cut off and isolated, rather they

    will be united in blocs, and there will be security areas and buffer zones which must remain in our

    hands.”2 Ariel Sharon announced in 2003 that the Jordan Valley would be isolated from the West

    Bank by the construction of a wall of 300 kilometers.3 In 2004, Benyamin Netenyahu announced

    plans to massively increase government financial support to the colonies in the West Bank.4 Ehud

    Olmert stated in 2006 that Israel intends to keep control of the Valley, even if it pulls out of other

    parts of the West Bank, stating "It is impossible to abandon control of the eastern border of

    Israel."5

    Accordingly, in June 2005, Israeli Minister of Agriculture, Yisrael Katz announced a $32m plan to

    double the number of Israeli settlers living in the Jordan Valley in the period to 2007. Attempts to

    implement this plan followed almost immediately, with extensive seizure of land from

    Palestinians.6 The Israeli government has designated the Valley as a ‘Priority A’ area for

    attracting foreign investment.7

    The Israeli intention to increase the number of settlers in the Jordan Valley, and to maintain and

    normalize the occupation of the region in defiance of international law, is a matter of public

    record. However, this drive for further colonization has not been as successful as the Israelis would

    have wished. Despite extensive subsidies for housing8 and farming,

    9 and the very visible

    expansion of Israeli house-building projects, the number of Israeli settlers in the Jordan Valley

    has remained constant or actually declined slightly10

    in recent years (see Appendix B).

  • The Japanese Government’s Development Proposals for the Jordan Valley

    8

    The Occupation’s support for JICA’s proposals must be seen in this context of colonization. Israeli

    engagement with joint projects like those proposed by JICA is central to creating a ‘normalized’

    atmosphere to enable further population transfer into the Jordan Valley, and to lend legitimacy for

    its material and financial support for Israeli businesses operating illegally in the area.

    Setting a different agenda: humanitarian aid, developmental

    assistance and politics

    Guiding principles

    Poverty in Palestine is not a problem of faulty economic policies pursued by Palestinians,

    but a direct result of the ongoing occupation. Humanitarian and developmental assistance

    must take this into account. International development agencies should clearly distinguish three

    aspects of assistance and support: humanitarian, developmental and political.

    The political aim of achieving Palestinian self-determination should be the guiding

    principle of humanitarian or developmental policies. International agencies run the risk of

    maintaining the occupation by assuming the duties of the occupying power under international

    law. Political support must be guided by international law and by the expressed will of the

    Palestinian people, in particular local community representatives and civil society. Support for

    Palestinian projects on the ground should be coupled with advocacy at the national and

    international level.

    Humanitarian aid is evidently an urgent need in the face of the ongoing crisis created by

    the occupation. However, such aid must not be delivered with the intention or the effect of

    normalizing or maintaining Palestinian oppression by making the occupation sustainable. It

    should be seen as a means to help the Palestinian people resist the occupation and obtain

    justice.

    Developmental work carried out by international agencies is liable to lend support to the

    occupation, directly or indirectly. This has been a crucial issue since 1967, with the start of the

    occupation of the whole of the West Bank and Gaza, and particularly pressing since 1994 when

    the Occupation devolved its responsibilities for the occupied population to the Palestinian

    Authority. Since 2003, with the construction of the Wall the Occupation has attempted find ways

    to create a sustainable economy behind the ghetto walls. Development in the ghettos is

    development of Israeli apartheid. Palestinian people are in need of support in their development

    of an economy of steadfastness that helps to protect the community, challenge occupation

    policies and strengthen solidarity. We believe that no development can be done under

  • The Japanese Government’s Development Proposals for the Jordan Valley

    9

    occupation. However, some projects can have a development potential that can support

    Palestinian steadfastness and help them to end the Israeli occupation.

    Adopting appropriate development strategies

    Support for the attainment of Palestinian self-determination and the implementation of

    international law can be expressed within the work of the international agencies in many ways:

    o Support for steadfastness. Humanitarian and developmental efforts of donors

    should focus on enabling Palestinians to challenge the facts on the ground

    produced by the Occupation, rather than coercing them into adapting to the

    Occupation. Donors must support initiatives and projects that challenge Israeli

    infringements of international law. For example, Area C is subject to military orders

    prohibiting construction by Palestinians. Donors must support Palestinians in building

    schools, medical facilities and agricultural infrastructure in this area.

    o Assertion of international humanitarian law over the rules and regulations of the

    Occupation. As long as donors continue to work only within the tight frameworks set by

    the Occupation, the space for action to support Palestinian interests and international law

    is narrow and donors are practically constrained to support income generating or

    developmental projects that create a ghetto economy.

    o Support for Palestinian political action. It is important that donors are not afraid of

    supporting Palestinian political activity. Palestinian people are among the most politically

    engaged in the world: the requirement is for basic support for popular expressions of the

    struggle for the implementation of international law. If international agencies wish to

    assist in the development of a thriving and democratic civil society, this has to happen by

    respecting Palestinian decisions. Projects promoting ‘dialogue’ with Israeli organizations

    in the current context are inevitably liable to normalization with the occupation and

    Palestinian organizations in their large majority refuse such projects today.

    o Action in the home countries to support the Palestinian struggle for freedom.

    International agencies must adopt a coherent approach in their development strategies in

    support of Palestinians and in their foreign and economic policies. Development aid in

    support of the attainment of Palestinian rights will be in vain if at the same time

    governmental policies effectively support the maintenance of Israeli occupation and the

    infringement of Palestinian rights. It is important that development agencies advocate

    for a change in foreign and economic policies to ensure their governments stop

    trade, research and military agreements that help Israel to maintain the occupation.

  • The Japanese Government’s Development Proposals for the Jordan Valley

    10

    Clear pressure has to be brought on Israel to respect all relevant precepts of international

    law.

    The Palestinian Authority

    One of the challenges for international agencies seeking to do development work in the

    West Bank and Gaza is that there is no autonomous partner at the national level capable of

    representing the interests of the Palestinian people. National-level Palestinian political

    institutions exist only with the permission of the Occupation and are dependent on the

    international community for funding: around 75% of the PA’s revenues come from international

    donors. Under the current circumstances, the PA’s popular support base and democratic

    mandate are weak. This makes it difficult for them to represent popular Palestinian interests, and

    there is an increasing perception that they are more inclined towards the external interests of

    donors and others. While as the official national representatives of the Palestinian people their

    position with regard to any development project is clearly of importance, it is also necessary for

    international agencies to look to other representative voices, in particular local community leaders

    and civil society.

  • The Japanese Government’s Development Proposals for the Jordan Valley

    11

    Proposals from the Japan International

    Cooperation Agency (JICA)

    Summary of the JICA proposals

    JICA’s activities in the Jordan Valley region consist of two principle strands:

    o The Jericho Regional Development Program, whose implementation began 2004, and

    which consists of three sub-programs

    o Government Administration and Social Service;

    o Agriculture, Agro-industry and Distribution;

    o Tourism and Urban Environment.

    o The Corridor for Peace and Prosperity announced by Prime Minister Koizumi in July

    2006, to bring together Palestine, Israel, Jordan and Japan “in order to promote regional

    cooperation in developing economic infrastructure including institutional capacity

    building”, an idea arising from the Jericho Regional Development program. Though the

    Corridor for Peace and Prosperity has received extensive media coverage, no concrete

    information about its implementation has been published. However, the preliminary

    proposals of “establishing an agro-industrial park in the West Bank and facilitating the

    transportation of goods” (see below) give the impression that substantive parts of the

    Jericho Regional Development Program are essential components of the Corridor for

    Peace and Prosperity project. It seems that the latter will exacerbate many of the

    weaknesses in the existing JICA projects.

    Matching the proposal documentation to the work actually done on the ground has proved

    problematic.

    The areas discussed in this briefing are:

    o The ‘needs assessment’ that has been carried out with Palestinian community

    representatives and the implementation of the waste management project

    o The Agriculture, Agro-industry and Distribution proposal, as outlined in the Feasibility

    Study on Agro-Industrial Park Development in Jordan River Rift Valley (Phase I):

    Inception Report, which is apparently still under discussion.

    o The proposed Al Mujarat Road

  • The Japanese Government’s Development Proposals for the Jordan Valley

    12

    The needs assessment and waste projects

    JICA has failed to consult fully and properly with Palestinians, and further failed to

    address needs that were expressed during the consultation. JICA is not accountable to the

    Palestinian people. This has led to the development of initiatives and proposals across the

    board which do not meet regional needs and in fact run counter to the interests of the

    local population.

    JICA’s projects completely disregard the results of needs assessment that was done with

    Palestinians in the Jordan Valley. Of the needs raised by Palestinians, only proposals for waste

    management have been implemented, and waste management was far down the list of priorities

    raised. There are far higher priorities issues to be addressed such as the development of

    education and,health-care facilities.

    As we shall discuss, even the waste project does not meet the needs of Palestinians. It is

    apparently an attempt to solve an Israeli problem, not a Palestinian one. Waste produced by

    Map 2: JICA’s ‘Peace Corridor’ proposal, reproduced from the Japanese government

  • The Japanese Government’s Development Proposals for the Jordan Valley

    13

    Palestinian communities is an issue, but not a priority as the amount of waste produced is small.

    Further, development of the project along lines implied the requirements of the agro-industrial

    project will be disastrous for long-term Palestinian political and developmental objectives.

    Community leaders in the Jordan Valley feel that they have not been properly consulted, and that

    the projects implemented so far are irrelevant to them. A meeting of Jordan Valley regional

    councils on Tuesday 13 November outlined their main objections to JICA’s activities:

    1. First, they have not fulfilled the needs that the community outlined to them

    2. There was no transparency in dealing with the budgets and the expenses over the last

    three years.

    3. They are not implementing the projects which are of high priority. They are slow to

    implement the projects which were decided on the ground.

    4. Most of the organisations working in the Jordan Valley have left the area, because they

    claim that JICA has adopted the area.

    5. There was already a joint local council that was working in the area of waste, now we

    have a parallel one from the Japanese advisory team. 11

    JICA have undertaken a number of approaches to supporting waste management, starting with

    the donation of garbage trucks in 1998, and the setting up of regional cooperation between local

    governments.

    Mr. Takeshi Naruse, Resident Representative of the JICA Palestine Office wrote in March of this

    year that that “Environment degradation in Palestine is becoming serious problem nowadays.

    Particularly solid waste and sewer water is being dumped in open places in each city and town

    without any treatment.”12

    However, the mayors make clear that waste is way down the list of

    priorities for Palestinian communities. Around 50% of Palestinians in the Jordan Valley live in

    rural communities based around small-scale agriculture. The project has apparently been

    undertaken at the request of Israeli colonies, who complain of the effects of Palestinian waste. It

    appears that the waste project is in fact an attempt to solve an Israeli problem, not a Palestinian

    one.

    Mr. Takeshi Naruse writes further that “Local communities have been significantly motivated and

    empowered through this steady joint cooperation at a community level.” This is not the case, the

    community representatives make clear in the statement above. The work that has been done has

    not been done according to the wishes of local Palestinians. To their consternation, waste from

    around Jericho is being transported into the limited ‘A’ area around the city where it is dumped.

    This is costly for the villages and damaging to the ancient and historic city of Jericho. Evidence

    from the ground suggests that waste from villages in the north of the Jordan Valley is now

  • The Japanese Government’s Development Proposals for the Jordan Valley

    14

    transported at great expense to Tobas and Jenin over distances of 50-85km. Although this is

    currently internationally funded, it is difficult to see how this can be viewed as ‘development’ if the

    cost exceeds the Palestinian ability to sustain it long term.

    Waste management to support JICA’s further proposals will support the Occupation

    A far greater problem than Palestinian waste is that which comes from Israeli colonies, for

    example from Ma’ale Adumin colony; linked to this, it can be assumed that the waste project is

    also being implemented with a view to dealing with waste from the new agro-industrial zone,

    which we analyse in detail below. There is great concern that given that the majority of the

    sewage and waste arises from the colonies, pressure will be brought to bear to integrate the

    colonies into the waste management system. This concern is reinforced by the fact that the

    proposals for the agro-industrial zone include support for and investment in the colonies, contrary

    to international law.

    If JICA went ahead with ‘joint’ waste projects between the Palestinians and the Occupation, it

    would be the first international development agency to lend its support to such a breach of

    international law. Thus far, there has been no acceptance by international donors of ‘joint

    projects’ serving illegal colonies. However, scientists at universities linked to the Occupation are

    increasingly urging donors to ‘separate environment from politics’ and allow such illegal

    financing.13

    JICA must make absolutely clear that the waste projects will not support the colonies. However,

    given their support for colonies in the agro-industrial project, described in the next section, this is

    a major cause for concern.

    The Agro-industrial zone

    JICA’s failure to take on board recommendations on Palestinians from the ground is also

    reflected in the weakness of the proposals raised in most recent document that has been made

    available to us, Feasibility Study on Agro-Industrial Park Development in Jordan River Rift Valley

    (Phase I): Inception Report.14

    The proposals for the agro-industrial zone bear no relation to the needs of Palestinians on the

    ground, which begs the question of for whom the project is being developed. The overwhelming

    majority of farmers in the Jordan Valley run small-scale farms, which are unable to develop due to

    lack of infrastructure, which is the result of forty years of occupation. These small businesses are

  • The Japanese Government’s Development Proposals for the Jordan Valley

    15

    generally in a poor state: not one International Standards Organisation (ISO) certificate has been

    awarded to farms to the Jordan Valley. The net result of these factors is extreme poverty: 75% of

    Jordan Valley Palestinians live on less than $2 a day.

    Rather than allowing these farmers to develop their own businesses, JICA apparently envisages

    that they will work as labourers in large-scale agro-industry, which will presumably be owned

    either by settlers or by wealthy Palestinian elites. The project is clearly not being developed for

    the benefit of ordinary Palestinians.

    JICA’s proposal documentation makes no serious effort to tackle the real barriers to production

    for farmers in the Jordan Valley, all of which arise from the ongoing occupation:

    o The restrictions on access, which make movement and of workers and goods within

    Palestine uneconomical, and export by Palestinians almost impossible.

    o The Occupation’s confiscation of water resources and land, which have decimated

    Palestinian agriculture.

    o The impossibility of obtaining building permits for any purpose in Zone C.

    JICA’s proposals are fundamentally problematic, because on one hand they claim to be a ‘peace

    building’ project, i.e. one which must deal in the political sphere, while on the other they purport to

    be an economic initiative; and indeed the proposals, as shall be discussed sideline the political

    obstacles to peace and economic development arising from the occupation. JICA need to identify

    clearly whether the aims are political or purely development objectives.

    It is worth noting that since 1998, nothing has been developed or implemented for the benefit of

    Palestinians: no schools or hospitals have been built, and the only initiative to have come to

    fruition is the waste management project which, as described, is at best of peripheral interest to

    communities in which it operates, and in the worst case scenario will lead to the development of

    an illegal normalisation projects harmful to Palestinian interests.

    JICA’s agro-industrial proposals will facilitate the building of economy and infrastructure that is

    inextricably bound up with the presence of the occupation, effectively cementing the most serious

    barrier to long-term development.

  • The Japanese Government’s Development Proposals for the Jordan Valley

    16

    Support for the colonies

    One of the most concerning things in JICA’s preliminary document is that it appears to be

    proposing direct support for the illegal Israeli colonies in the Jordan Valley:

    “Some of Israeli migrant firms making successful business are to be surveyed to analyze

    primal factors of the likely promising products. Such factors may be ascribed to three

    points; production, distribution and market. Perhaps successful migrant business might

    be supported by external/internal conditions lessening constrains. For instance,

    innovation of production technology, economy of scale in delivery, and market stability in

    Israel or European countries are to be contemplated.” (Emphasis added) (JICA p.8-9)

    The term ‘Israeli migrant firms’ is apparently a euphemism for the Occupation’s colonies, which

    are built on land confiscated from Palestinians. These colonies are considered illegal under

    international law. The colonies are not ‘migrant firms’ – a phrase which implies that they are

    Israeli companies operating with permission on Palestinian territory under Palestinian law: they

    are illegal outposts which pay taxes to the Israeli government, which are provided with financial

    support by the Israeli government and which are the Occupation’s primary instrument in

    maintaining control of the Jordan Valley. The document appears to be recommending integrating

    and supporting these colonies in the Jordan Valley as part of a package of economic

    regeneration.

    Joint projects

    JICA’s preliminary document suggests that the Palestinians should accept their Occupiers as

    partners, in the interests of future ‘peace’:

    "The concept is to work collaboratively to materialize projects that promote regional

    cooperation for the prosperity of the region, such as establishing an agro-industrial park

    in the West Bank and facilitating the transportation of goods.”15

    It is presumably in this spirit that JICA recommends that development should take advantage of

    the colony’s ‘innovation of production technology, economy of scale in delivery’ (JICA, p.8-9),

    opening the door to cooperation between the colonies and the Palestinians.

    JICA are clear that investment in the projects can come from Palestine, Jordan or from the

    Israelis. Given the proposal document’s misconstruction of the colonies as ‘migrant businesses’,

    coupled with the Occupation’s commitment to expanding the colonies as discussed above, it is

    clear that the joint projects will mean extensive Israeli investment in Israeli companies operating

    illegally on confiscated Palestinian land.

  • The Japanese Government’s Development Proposals for the Jordan Valley

    17

    Considering the lack of Palestinian capital, technological infrastructure and supply infrastructure,

    the Palestinian contribution will be essentially based on providing cheap labour and accepting

    Israeli business on stolen Palestinian land. Rather than yielding ‘economic benefits’, the project

    is liable to lead to Palestinian exploitation in underpaid and unprotected jobs, delivering further

    profits to Israeli investors and enabling the colonies to prosper.

    JICA state that:

    Foreign investors might take interest in free zone where domestic tariff is exempted.

    Processing manufacturers put their supply baise in free zone and logistics/distributors are

    also located in free zone. While traders and import substitution industries are located in

    promotional zone of domestic tariff area. Firms in promotional zone are allowed to make

    business transactions with firms in free zone. The concept of industrial park development

    will be formulated through direct dialogue with the concerned parties. (JICA, p.14)

    ‘Foreign investors’ would of course include the Israelis, and the elements of the supply chain

    described above include Israeli economic infrastructure operating on confiscated Palestinian land.

    Indeed, given the fact that the supply chain infrastructure developed by the illegal settlers is

    already highly developed, and given the priorities clearly set out by the Occupation authorities

    since 1967, it is likely that any inflow of investment would go directly to subsidize the colony

    project to the exclusion of all others, and in defiance of international law. Of course, the colonies

    are already financially supported by the Occupation authorities, but the outline above proposes

    formalizing the arrangement, establishing a free trade zone to facilitate it further. That the

    enterprise is portrayed as a joint Palestinian-Israeli project is disingenuous.

    The proposal for exemption of the domestic tariff would be a further infringement of Palestinian

    sovereignty. If settlers operating in the Jordan Valley had to pay taxes to the Palestinian Authority,

    this would confirm the territory as Palestinian. Waiving the tariff leaves their status ambiguous in

    the eyes of the Occupation, and indeed the eyes of JICA, who apparently would continue to

    regard them as ‘migrant businesses’ rather than occupiers.

    JICA’s proposals must be seen in the context of the Occupation’s need for a fig-leaf to cover

    investment in the illegal colonies. After a dispute in 2006 with the EU over the terms of the EU

    Trade Association agreement, the Occupation has been forced to identify products from the

    colonies for export to the EU, as these are not admissible for tariff exemption under the treaty,

    originating as they do not from Israeli territory but occupied Palestinian territory. The Occupation

    is therefore currently supporting colony products for export with additional subsidies to the value

    of the tariff exemption that they were previously receiving. This situation potentially puts the

    Occupation authorities in conflict with World Trade Organization (WTO) rules. The establishment

    of a free-trade area, as proposed by JICA, would enable the occupation to get around this

    difficulty, by providing a new way to support the colonies through investment.

  • The Japanese Government’s Development Proposals for the Jordan Valley

    18

    Further, the proposal here that agricultural development should take advantage of the colony’s

    expertise in export to Europe (JICA, p.8-9) contradicts the previous recommendation in the same

    paper that Palestinian products be exported only to countries in the immediate region. The

    document specifies that the countries for export are Israel, Jordan and Gulf countries (JICA,

    p.10), and further that for vegetables, which will be the main export “the markets shall be confined

    to proximate cities in Jordan or other Arabic countries” (JICA, p.12) The only conclusion that can

    be drawn is that JICA does not wish to support the development of an independent Palestinian

    agricultural export sector which would be in competition with Jordan and Israel; instead,

    Palestinian produce is to be exported to Jordan and Israel for re-export to Europe or the Gulf,

    entrenching Palestinian dependency.

    Further establishment of Israeli economic infrastructure

    JICA go on to suggest that proposals for improving technological innovation in the area, adopting

    the Israeli terminology of ‘technological incubators’:

    ‘Donors might set up the so-called incubators that help SME [small to medium-sized

    enterprises] raise their technology. Next stage, a small Free Zone (FZ) would be introduced,

    depending on advancement of foreign direct investment (FDI). To sustain such an image, the

    following tasks can be necessary;

    a) Hearings from potential domestic investors

    b) Discussion on necessity of incubators among the concerned stakeholders

    c) Study on legal aspects of special zone’

    In fact, the Occupation has already established the Kinarot technological incubator, whose remit

    includes supporting technology startups over ‘the whole Jordan Valley region’.16

    It is clear that in

    this context, given the relative under-development of the Palestinian technology sector, JICA’s

    proposed incubators would be entirely controlled by the Israelis.

    By encouraging foreign investment, which would certainly include Israeli investment, coupled with

    the misconstruction of colonies as ‘migrant business’ to be provided with a ‘free trade zone’, JICA

    risks supporting the establishment of businesses that are de facto colonies, but legally in limbo.

    The Israelis already have a large scale program of investment in the incubators, and further have

    designated the Jordan Valley as a ‘priority A’ area for further investment, deliberately blurring the

    lines between the territories on both sides of the green line.

    It is clear, then, that the ‘joint projects’ outlined by JICA are toxic to Palestinian interests, both

    economically and politically. Palestinians are not interested in projects to normalize relations with

    the occupier: we demand an end to the occupation so that there can be development of genuine

  • The Japanese Government’s Development Proposals for the Jordan Valley

    19

    Palestinian economic and political autonomy.

    The Al Mujarat Road

    Improved transport links will be necessary in order for the Palestinian economy to develop.

    However, the proposals put forward by JICA are completely unacceptable.

    The planned Al-Mujarat road, outlined by officials at the JICA office in the West Bank to local

    news agencies will link Jericho to Palestinian towns in the North and South. It is intended to

    facilitate the agro-industrial proposals by allowing movement of the illegal settlers and

    Palestinians on terms dictated by the Occupation.

    Map 3 – The Proposed Al-Majarat Road

  • The Japanese Government’s Development Proposals for the Jordan Valley

    20

    Map 4: The apartheid road network and Wall have split the West Bank into three ghettos, which the World Bank terms ‘separate economic zones’. The planned Al Mujarat road will entrench this system and facilitate the annexation of East Jerusalem and the area around Ma’ale Adumin.

    This will have a number of effects. It will:

    1. Allow the occupation to close the current road

    between Jerusalem and Jericho (Highway 45) to

    Palestinians. As shown on Map 2, this will allow

    the annexation of East Jerusalem colonies blocs,

    especially the area around Ma’ale Adumin colony.

    Occupation representatives have repeatedly

    stated their intention to do this;17

    2. Consolidate the division of the West Bank into

    central, southern and northern ghettos as shown

    on Map 3;

    3. Facilitate the operation of Occupation checkpoints

    on the new ‘Palestinian only’ roads while giving

    complete freedom of movement to the Israeli

    settlers on roads from which Palestinians will be

    excluded.

    The new Palestinian-only roads will start and end with

    Occupation checkpoints. JICA’s proposal for the agro-

    industrial zone takes the continuing existence of these

    checkpoints as a given, and makes recommendations that

    Palestinians develop their industry taking into account the

    fact that they will have to continue to live with them:

    “Israeli check points are time-consuming and

    sometimes cause damage of products since

    packaging is unpacked and checked in detail.

    Depending on distribution time and strict check,

    some products needing fresh quality and quick

    delivery are not recommendable.” (JICA, p.13)

  • The Japanese Government’s Development Proposals for the Jordan Valley

    21

    The proposal deals with development of an agricultural sector in the long term, including funding

    for the colonies as has been described. The sum of the recommendations is therefore for long

    term investment in a system allowing the illegal settlers to move freely between their colonies,

    entrenching and normalizing the occupation. The project is geared to the Israeli agenda of

    maintaining an ongoing presence in the Jordan Valley, not the Palestinian objective of long term

    economic development free from occupation.

    Similar proposals made by the Occupation in the past have been completely rejected

    governments and international agencies. In 2004, the Israeli state failed to obtain financing for a

    planned 512km of ‘separate’ roads for Palestinians because of international objections. European

    donors refused the proposal, partly because of concerns that funding the new roads would

    breach the International Court of Justice ruling against support for construction of the Apartheid

    Wall and the regime created by it and partly because of their reluctance to increase subsidies to

    the occupation. 18

    The Occupation’s line has been that it is interested in "improving the transportation infrastructure

    to enable uninterrupted movement across the West Bank", and they demand that this will require

    "extensive and complex construction with international assistance."19

    This justification has been

    completely rejected by international governments. Even the World Bank has opposed the

    development of new roads for Palestinians on the basis that they should be allowed to use the

    existing road network. It would be a major setback if the Japanese government now accepted the

    principal of apartheid infrastructure inherent in the planned road.

    Defining sustainable development

    JICA must adopt a more realistic approach to supporting Palestinian interests in order to

    facilitate long-term development. JICA’s development proposals must be led by a

    recognition of the interest of the people. Development projects must include advocacy and

    the support of an ‘economy of steadfastness’ conducive to long-term Palestinian political

    and developmental goals. JICA development strategies must stop considering Israeli

    presence in the Jordan Valley as “partners” for Palestinians and JICA projects but

    recognize them as illegal occupants, whose presence is a grave breach of the IV Geneva

    convention.

    To address the serious failings in the development proposals so far, JICA must:

    o Undertake genuine consultation to identify communities’ needs and act upon it

    o Take steps to ensure that the projects are legal under the relevant provisions of

    international law

  • The Japanese Government’s Development Proposals for the Jordan Valley

    22

    o Take steps to ensure that the project conform with Japanese law, which prevents JICA

    from investing in highly developed economies; in other words to ensure that the projects

    do not lend support to the Occupation and in particular the colony program

    o Ensure that the political outcome is to strengthen Palestinian steadfastness and to work

    towards an end of the occupation

    JICA, like other international development agencies, is well aware that the principle obstacles to

    Palestinian economic recovery are a direct result of the occupation. However, like other

    development agencies,20

    their proposals are geared around normalising relations with Israel,

    rather than providing economic recovery to Palestinians.

    JICA’s refusal to support genuine Palestinian developmental objectives presumably arises

    because of an unwillingness to confront the Israeli agenda. For example, if JICA proposed

    supporting local Palestinian efforts to build schools or hospitals this would immediately lead to

    conflict as the Occupation refuses to issues building permits for Palestinians in Zone C. If JICA

    proposed to support Palestinians in exporting their own produce, rather than relying on the

    Israelis for shipping and marketing, this would require them to confront the occupation on the

    issue of closure.

    Our recommendation is that the occupation must be confronted on these issues. If it is not,

    Palestinians will be forced to continue in the current system, under which they are forced to rely

    on their occupier. This will fatally undermine Palestinian autonomy, disable the development of

    Palestinian industry, entrench the Israeli control over movement and access in perpetuity, and

    ensure that Palestinians are trapped in the status of labourers with little control over development.

    JICA must look again at the objectives of their development program and consider political

    outcomes and status under international law.

  • The Japanese Government’s Development Proposals for the Jordan Valley

    23

    Appendix A: Case studies

    Case Study 1: Al Hadidiya – Water and agriculture

    On August 13 2007 the Palestinian Bedouin villages of Al-Hadidiya and Humsa in the Jordan

    Valley were bulldozed by the Occupation, making 200 people homeless. The attack on these

    villages is just one episode in a campaign of expulsion, dispossession and apartheid waged on

    Palestine since 1948, in which control of the water resources is a key weapon of the Occupation.

    Since in 1967 the Israeli occupation expanded to the West Bank, parts of the Libqeya plains in

    the Jordan Valley, where al-Hadidiya and Humsa are located, were declared military closed

    zones or military training areas; others were swallowed by colony construction. Palestinians were

    prohibited from using water from the Jordan River, allowing the Occupation to divert water further

    upstream, annexing the water resources for the Israeli water system. The villages’ traditional well

    has been destroyed by the Occupation, and replaced with a deeper one built for the Israeli

    settlers: it is surrounded with high fences and Palestinians risk prison if they use it. They are also

    prevented from drilling any wells. Al Hadidiya has no water supply, and must bring water in a

    water tank from 35 km away. In the months before the demolition they had water tanks repeatedly

    confiscated. During 2006, the settlers of the nearby Ro’i colony had petitioned the Occupation’s

    Court to enact a demolition order against the villages, claiming that the Bedouin community, who

    have grazed their animals around the area for generations, were a ‘threat’ to Ro’i. Over the

    course of two days, 13 and 23 August 2007, the expulsion of Palestinian communities was

    enacted.

    The main barrier to the development of agricultural communities such as al-Hadidiya and Humsa

    is the ongoing attacks on their water resources. If JICA wish to enable development, this is the

    political reality with which they must engage.

    Case study 2: Imad Sawafta – Running an agricultural business in the north of the Jordan Valley

    Imad Sawafta runs a farming business near Bardala, in the north of the Jordan Valley, close to

    the Wall and Bisan checkpoint. He started the business in 1980 producing tomatoes, cucumbers,

    aubergines and other vegetables. There are fifteen full-time employees, who are not paid salaries

    but take a share of the vegetables produced for their own consumption or resale.

    The business is seasonal: vegetables cannot be produced all year round because of the climate

    and lack of irrigation. At the start of the producing season, the business makes small profits, but

  • The Japanese Government’s Development Proposals for the Jordan Valley

    24

    these are counterbalanced by losses towards the end of the season. The cost of production is

    around 1,500 to 2,000 shekels per dunum per year, and the net profit from the business is zero.

    Mr. Sawafta wants to expand the business, as he told us: ‘of course, this is what any farmer

    wants to do’. However, the lack of surplus means that this is not possible: the business is self-

    sustaining as far as it goes, but there is no scope for expansion. A number of factors contribute to

    this situation. Mr. Sawafta reports that the whole area has been under huge pressure since the

    start of the occupation of the Jordan Valley in 1967.

    The factor first is the threat of arbitrary destruction by Occupation forces. In September 2007, the

    Occupation bulldozed around 20 dunums planted land, including a number of greenhouses. With

    such small margins, this kind of one-off assault has serious long-term consequences for the

    business.

    Ongoing factors caused by the occupation are the major obstacle to business. Mr Sawafta reports

    that before the construction of the Wall, it was a little easier because the area was still to open to

    an extent: traders, whether Palestinian or Israeli would to come to the area, pick vegetables, and

    then take to them to their areas for resale.

    With the construction of the Wall and the Bisan checkpoint, this is no longer possible.

    Compounding the difficulties, the Israeli Occupation authorities insist that there must be an

    authorised Israeli company to act as a middleman for any resale of produce, even if transporting

    produce to other areas in the West Bank, such as nearby markets in Tobas and Jenin. Around

    90% of resale goes on through the Israeli middleman company, which takes around 30% of the

    price as commission. The Wall and closure regime means that the Occupation is able to exploit

    Palestinian production for the benefit of Israeli companies. In fact, trade with the West Bank has

    been minimised: it is simply not profitable, because of the uncertainty caused by the closure

    regime. Delays at checkpoints mean that goods often do not arrive at markets until after the

    markets have closed, and on other occasions the produce is not allowed through at all.

    Recruiting workers is another major problem. The checkpoints do not allow workers to pass if

    they are registered in other areas of the West Bank. Mr Sawafta himself is registered in Tobas,

    although he has lived in Bardala all his life. This means that he is effectively confined to the area

    of the farm, as he would have great difficulties getting back in if he left. The Bardala area has a

    low population density, which makes it difficulty to recruit workers. The lack of education facilities

    means that the workers that are available are not sufficiently skilled.

  • The Japanese Government’s Development Proposals for the Jordan Valley

    25

    Another significant barrier is the Occupation’s control of the water resources: the Occupation

    places limits on the volume of water allocated to each farmer, and applying for an increase in the

    allocation is a long and complicated process which is usually fruitless anyway.

    We asked Mr Sawafta specifically about international development projects in the Jordan Valley.

    He told us:

    “JICA is ok, but the way that work, and implement their projects is bad. Not only them, but

    all the international donors, like PAPA [the USAID scheme], the British and the

    Netherlands.

    “JICA claim they are using the Palestinian local councils as a middleman, but these local

    councils are powerless, and not really active, because over the last year and a half, since

    the council elections the Palestinian Authority has dismantled them.

    “Funders only cover twenty percent of the project expenses, then force on us specific

    Palestinian middleman companies, who usually are not qualified and dependable, and

    take commission from us. So what remains for us just little pieces. If you actually

    calculated the whole thing, the actually expenses are equal to the benefit from

    participating in these projects. I contacted many donors, either directly or through the

    councils, but it is not worth my while to join any of these projects.”

    Mr Sawafta also highlighted the ineffectiveness of the Palestinian Authority as a major problem

    for farmers:

    “A major problem is that the Authority Ministry of Agriculture is not doing its work. It is not

    qualified, and they do not have a strategy for marketing or education and training. So how

    can farmers bypass the occupation, or build a trade with Jordan or Israel or any other

    partner if they cannot depend on the Ministry of Agriculture? In our area, the Authority

    does not have any authority or law that can be implemented.”

    The problems highlighted by Mr Sawafta are a direct result of the occupation. JICA must tackle

    the root cause of the problem, which is the ongoing control of the occupation of trade in the area.

    The proposals raised so far do not challenge the control of the occupation, in fact they cement it.

  • The Japanese Government’s Development Proposals for the Jordan Valley

    26

    Appendix B: Colonies in the Jordan Valley

    Population Colony Built

    2006 2003 2000 1999

    Argaman 1968 169* 169 164 155

    Benjamin Beqa'ot 1972 145* 145 144 144 Bitronot (Nahal) 1984 ** ** ** ** Elisha (Nahal) 1983 ** ** 753 0 En Hogla 1982 ** ** ** **

    Gilgal 1970 162* 162 180 164

    Gittit 1973 119* 119 100 109

    Hamra 1971 131* 131 147 149 Hemdat (Nahal) 1980 107* 107 Ma'ale Efrayim 1970 1,400 1,443 1,480 1,460 Maskiyyot 1987 507* 507* 507 N/A Massu'a 1970 145* 145 148 140

    Mehola 1968 327* 327 306 315

    Mekhora 1973 125* 125 113 120 Menora 1998 1,240* 1,240 768 332

    Netiv HaGedud 1976 120* 120 139 143 Niran 1977 52* 52 56 45 Na'omi 1982 123* 123 121 133 Peza'el 1975 213* 213 224 228

    Ro'i 1976 118* 118 141 133 Rotem (Nahal) 1984 24* 24 Shadmot Mehola 1978 507* 507 399 400 Tomer 1978 298* 298 308 307

    Yafit 1980 95* 95 125 118

    Yitav 1970 136* 136 114 107

    Totals 6263 6306 6437 4702

    * Recent data available. We have assumed that the number of settlers has remained constant.

    ** No data available, so discounted from the final total.

    This provides a very conservative estimate of the number of settlers in the Jordan Valley. The

    evidence from the ground is that the rate of colony building is increasing, but that a number are

    standing empty, and the number of settlers is not currently increasing dramatically.

    Source: Israeli Occupation Government’s Central Bureau of Statistics

  • The Japanese Government’s Development Proposals for the Jordan Valley

    27

    Appendix C: Press Release from Mayors in

    the Jordan Valley

    The five points raised in the press release (13 November 2007) are translated on page 8.

  • The Japanese Government’s Development Proposals for the Jordan Valley

    28

    Notes

    1 Speech by Yitzhak Rabin to the Occupation’s Knesset on the ratification of the Israeli-

    Palestinian interim agreement (Palestine: 5 October 1995) www.fmep.org/reports/vol05/no6/05-rabins_final_defense_of_oslo_ii.html

    2 The Israeli Occupation’s Foreign Ministry, "Comments by Prime Minister Netanyahu on the

    current political situation" Israeli Government website (Palestine: 2 June 1997) www.mfa.gov.il/MFA/Foreign%20Relations/Israels%20Foreign%20Relations%20since%201947/1996-1997/117%20%20Comments%20by%20Prime%20Minister%20Netanyahu%20on%20the%20c

    3 Adri Nieuwhof, "Israel plundering the Jordan Valley" The Electronic Intifada (Palestine: 7

    September 2007) electronicintifada.net/v2/article7142.shtml

    4 James Benntet, "Israel Planning Big Investment in ColonyColonies on West Bank", The New

    York Times newspaper (New York, United States: April 20, 2004) query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9F01EEDA1E3BF933A15757C0A9629C8B63&n=Top/Reference/Times%20Topics/People/S/Shalom,%20Silvan

    5 Chris McGreal, "Israel excludes Palestinians from fertile valley", The Guardian newspaper

    (London, UK: February 14 2006) www.guardian.co.uk/israel/Story/0,,1709278,00.html

    6 Applied Research Institute, The ongoing Israeli violations in the Jordan Valley (Jerusalem,

    Palestine: January 14 2006) www.poica.org/editor/case_studies/view.php?recordID=745

    7 The Israeli Occupation’s Ministry of Industry, Trade and Labor, “Investment incentives in the

    Law for the Encouragement of Capital Investment” (Tel Aviv, Palestine: 2007) www.moital.gov.il/NR/exeres/9DF4F491-E41C-406F-8903-894F11A502E0.htm

    8 Jamal Juma, Palestinian Grassroots Anti Apartheid Wall Campaign, "The Eastern Wall: Closing

    the Circle of Our Ghettoization", ZMag (Ramallah, Palestine: December 24, 2005) www.zmag.org/content/showarticle.cfm?ItemID=9398

    9 Applied Research Institute, The ongoing Israeli violations in the Jordan Valley (Jerusalem,

    Palestine: January 14 2006) www.poica.org/editor/case_studies/view.php?recordID=745

    10 Data from organizations working on the ground in the Jordan Valley, and from the Occupation’s

    Central Bureau of Statistics is incomplete. However anecdotal evidence supports the figures that are available, which suggest that there has been no sharp rise in the number of settlers.

    11 Jordan Valley Councils joint press release, “The JICA project in the Jordan Valley” (Jordan

    Valley, Palestine: 13 November 2007), press release in Arabic in Appendix C

    12 Takeshi Naruse, Resident Representative, Japan International Cooperation Agency Palestine

    Office, paper to the HiPeC International Peace-Building Conference, 8-9 March 2007, “Community Empowerment, Regional Development and Platform for Dialogues through Comprehensive Peace Building Approaches” (Hiroshima University, Japan) home.hiroshima-u.ac.jp/hipec/conference/program.html

  • The Japanese Government’s Development Proposals for the Jordan Valley

    29

    13 Presentation of Nitsan Levy (Hebrew University) and Yitshak Meyer (Environmental Protection

    Association) , Feasibility Study for Cooperation in WWTP and Landfills for Israelis and Palestinians in the West Bank (Antalya, Turkey: October 11 2004)

    14 Palestine National Authority (PNA) and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA),

    Feasibility Study on Agro-Industrial Park Development in Jordan River Rift Valley (Phase I): Inception Report (Japan: March 2007)

    15 Japan’s background paper on the Corridor for Peace and Prosperity,

    http://www.mofa.go.jp/region/middle_e/palestine/concept0607.html

    16 See the Kinarot Incubator website (www.kinarot.com) and the Israel Life Sciences Industry

    website (www.ilsi.org.il/)

    17 There is extensive media documentation of the Occupation’s E1 plan. On 22 March 2007, the

    United Nations Human Rights Council expressed its ‘grave concern’ at progress on the “Israeli so-called E1 plan aimed at expanding the Israeli colony of Maale Adumim and building the wall around it, thereby further disconnecting occupied East Jerusalem from the northern and southern parts of the West Bank and isolating its Palestinian population” See “Israeli colonies in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and in the occupied Syrian Golan” (A/HRC/RES/2/4, A/HRC/2/9, 22 March 2007) available from http://domino.un.org/UNISPAL.NSF/fd807e46661e3689852570d00069e918/30c62c7a62b696ed8525723e00555bb5!OpenDocument

    18 Chris McGreal, “Israel seeks funds for separate Arab roads” The Guardian (September 6 2004)

    www.guardian.co.uk/israel/Story/0,2763,1297891,00.html

    19 Chris McGreal, “Israel seeks funds for separate Arab roads” The Guardian (September 6 2004)

    www.guardian.co.uk/israel/Story/0,2763,1297891,00.html

    20 For example, development reports from the World Bank and recently the British Treasury

    highlight the importance of movement and access to the development of the Palestinian economy. However, they too, after an apparent failure to consult adequately on the ground, make proposals for enabling Palestinians to live with the occupation, rather than ending it. They do not, however, make recommendations for supporting the economic expansion of the colonies.

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